The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that it has not found evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines caused the 3,005 deaths reported in its vaccine safety monitoring system as of April 13.
Between Dec. 14, 2020, and April 12, 2021, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) received 3,005 reports of fatalities among individuals in the United States who had received one of the three COVID-19 vaccines issued under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). More than 189 million doses of the vaccine were administered during this time.
The two-dose messenger RNA vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech were granted an emergency authorization in December 2020, and the Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) one-dose adenovirus vaccine was authorized in late February. The EUA allows vaccines to be distributed and administered while still classified as experimental medical products.
“We continue to believe in the positive benefit-risk profile of our vaccine,” said Paul Stoffels, vice chairman of the Executive Committee and chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson. “We value the consideration of the Advisory Committee, and we will continue to collaborate with medical experts and global health authorities, including the CDC, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency, and the World Health Organization, as we work toward continuing vaccinations to end the global pandemic.”
The CDC notes that while reports of death are made on VAERS, it does not necessarily mean the vaccine caused the death.
VAERS is a passive surveillance system monitored by both the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). By law, healthcare practitioners and vaccine manufacturers are required to submit a report to VAERS of certain side effects following vaccination, but anyone can submit a report.
The FDA says it “takes all reports of adverse events following administration of vaccines” under emergency use seriously.
“Any reports of death following the administration of vaccines are promptly and rigorously investigated jointly by the FDA and CDC,” the FDA told The Epoch Times via email. “Such an investigation includes working with health care providers to obtain medical histories and clinical follow-up information.”
However, the CDC and FDA did not reply to The Epoch Times inquiry on the criteria it uses to make a determination of whether death resulted from a vaccine, particularly in cases where a death occurred hours after receiving an injection.
While the 3,005 deaths reported in VAERS make up only 0.00158 percent of deaths in people who received the COVID-19 vaccines in almost four months, it exceeds the total number of fatalities following all other vaccinations from January 2010 to November 2020 before the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Over the 10 years, VAERS received 734 reports of death following the other vaccinations based on a quick search on April 19.
The study found the “barriers to reporting include a lack of clinician awareness, uncertainty about when and what to report, as well as the burdens of reporting: reporting is not part of clinicians’ usual workflow, takes time, and is duplicative.”
“Proactive, spontaneous, automated adverse event reporting imbedded within EHRs [electronic health records] and other information systems has the potential to speed the identification of problems with new drugs and more careful quantifications of the risks of older drugs,” the authors added.
However, the authors said they were not able to proceed with the study further as a result of the CDC’s lack of response.
“Unfortunately, there was never an opportunity to perform system performance assessments because the necessary CDC contacts were no longer available and the CDC consultants responsible for receiving data were no longer responsive to our multiple requests to proceed with testing and evaluation,” the authors said.
The CDC didn't respond to a request for comment.